Arsenal's Pace Will Prove Too Much For Shaky Dortmund
Nuri Sahin, Oliver Kirch, Ji Dong-won, Ilkay Gundogan, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Marco Reus, Mathieu Debuchy, Theo Walcott, Serge Gnabry, Olivier Giroud, Nacho Monreal, Calum Chambers and Abou Diaby.
If you have Calum Chambers playing in goal not only would this list be dangerously close to the most Hipster starting eleven in recent memory (with Diaby and Ji Dong-won on the bench, Debuchy and Monreal as centre backs and Kirch and Gnabry as attacking wing backs in a typically mobile but ultimately bit-rubbish hipster defence), it also represents the list of injured players from tonight’s Champions League clash between Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund. That’s thirteen players. Enough for the hypothetical Real Hipsteros’ manager (Roberto Martinez, or potentially Diego Simeone) to put poor old hypothetically not-injured Diaby on the hypothetical bench.
That’s what makes this game so hard to predict in reality. Arsenal played well against Man City this weekend, a lot of high tempo pressing and with our attack looking more mobile than it has done in years, but in typical Arsenal fashion still managed to fall behind first from a counter attack, and then in even more typical Arsenal fashion conceded a second from a corner. In reality with two chances City hit the post with near the end we could have easily lost the match. Added to that is the well reported fact that our defence is woefully undersubscribed, and added to that is the fact the well reported fact that our injury collection is already looking like a character list from a Tolstoy novel.
On paper then, not looking so rosy for the Arsenal, especially when facing a team as prolific as Dortmund on the counter in their own backyard with their legions of die-hard fans who seem to threateningly swarm and buzz around the outside of the pitch like a gang of drunken killer bees. It may not be as simple as all that though.
As previously noted Dortmund are missing some key players like Reus, Sahin and Gundogan; players who are quite crucial to their speedy attacking play. They have been doing quite well in the Bundesliga but last month lost to Bayer Leverkusen and whilst shakey at times, Arsenal remain undefeated competitively for the last 14 games, believe it or not. We have an extremely fast and competitive midfield and now have added well to our frontline to make our top half look very threatening to any defence.
Let’s not forget that we were written off last year going into the game and we came away with the goods and if we can keep the pressure up in their final third and keep composed at the back, I predict a similar result, a classic 2-1 smash and grab.